Ultimate Guide: El Nido Island Hopping Tours
Are you planning to visit Palawan and want to know how to choose the best El Nido island hopping tour?
Island hopping tours are the best way to explore the Philippines’ attractions.
You can visit the stunning lagoons, paradise islands, and white sandy beaches.
El Nido has four island hopping tours: A, B, C, and D, each boat tour with different sights.
Our complete guide to El Nido Island Hopping Tours 2022 includes everything you need to know before you go!
- Ultimate Guide: El Nido Island Hopping Tours
- Everything you Need to Know about El Nido Tours
- Where to Book an El Nido Island Hopping Tour
- El Nido Island Hopping Tour Price
- Cost of El Nido Island Hopping Tours
- El Nido Tour A
- El Nido Tour B
- El Nido Tour C
- El Nido Tour D
- Best Island Hopping Tour in El Nido
- Private or Group Island Hopping Tour
- What to Pack for the El Nido Tours
- What Should I Wear for the El Nido Tour
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Everything you Need to Know about El Nido Tours
Bacuit Bay is home to 45 paradise islands, and you can visit the best places on El Nido tours. The island hopping tours are one of the top things to do in El Nido.
There are 4 El Nido tours to choose from: A, B, C, and D, each offering a different route and a wonderful experience.
Whichever El Nido tours you choose, you will be guaranteed a fantastic experience, as each island hopping tour is magnificent.
On the El Nido tours, you can swim, kayak, snorkel in the crystal clear water and see the towering limestone rock formations.
Follow our El Nido, Palawan guide to find your perfect tour.
Recommended Post → Palawan Itinerary for 10 Days
General information about El Nido Tours
- The El Nido tours are approximately 7 hours long, starting in the morning around 8:30-9:30 AM and finishing between 4-5 PM.
- Most island hopping tours offer free pick-up and drop-off of El Nido Town and include a buffet lunch, drinking water, entrance fees, a life jacket, and a snorkel mask.
- Single-use plastic water bottles are not allowed on the island hopping tour!
- Depending on the capacity and the season, there are usually 8 to 15 or 20 people on a group boat tour.
- Cancellations may be possible during the rainy season due to weather or sea conditions, so stay at least 3-days in El Nido.
Read more → How to Spend 3 Days in Coron
The 2019 environmental rule has limited the number of tourists in El Nido’s three most visited places the Small Lagoon, the Big Lagoon, and the Secret Beach.
You cannot visit these sites on the same day, and all tour operators must pre-register travelers.
Book your El Nido tour 1-2 days in advance.
Where to Book an El Nido Island Hopping Tour
Honestly, there is no place in El Nido where you can’t book an island hopping tour.
There are plenty of travel agencies, hotels, and restaurants advertising tours. You can check reviews online or ask the locals which is the best company to book a boat tour.
In El Nido, all companies offer the same island hopping routes, but you have the option to go on a group or a private tour.
Recommended Post → How to Get to El Nido, Palawan
We booked the “A” El Nido tour at our hostel to support local businesses because it’s usually cheaper to book in person.
However, if you want to book your El Nido boat tour in advance, we recommend booking through Getyourguide.com, which provides free cancellation if you change your plans.
See also → Best Things to Do in El Nido
Be sure to check booking details, such as what the tour price includes and if there are any hidden costs.
El Nido Island Hopping Tour Price
The tour prices depend on which tour you choose and whether there is an extra or hidden cost.
El Nido island hopping group tours vary from 1200-1500 PHP per person, and private tours start from 2000 PHP.
You can try to bargain, but because El Nido group tours are popular and usually fixed-price, you’ll probably only get the lagoon price discounted.
Although if you are a large group and take a private tour, prices will vary, and you have the option to bargain.
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Cost of El Nido Island Hopping Tours
- Not all tours include the Eco-Tourism Development Fee (ETDF), which is 200 PHP and valid for 10-days. All visitors must pay this fee to visit Bacuit Bay.
- Boats are not allowed to enter the Small Lagoons and Big Lagoons. So they will wait at the entrance, and tourists can access the lagoons by kayak. You can rent a kayak for around 250-300 PHP.
- There is an entrance fee to both lagoons of 200 PHP.
- If not included in your booking, you can rent snorkel gear from around 150 PHP or bring your own.
Good to know
Due to the new environmental policy, all combined and party boat tours are banned!
El Nido Tour A
The A Tour is one of the best and most popular islands hopping tours in El Nido. On this boat tour, you can explore the beautiful lagoons and beaches and swim, snorkel, or rent a kayak.
Miniloc Island is the most beautiful place in Bacuit Bay.
The group tour A prices start from 1260 PHP.
The best sights on Tour A are Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island, and Seven Commandos Beach.
See also → Port Barton Island Hopping Tours
In previous years, the A tour included both the Big Lagoon and Small Lagoon. But due to new rules, visiting the two lagoons on the same day is no longer allowed because the number of tourists has been limited.
Visit the Big Lagoon in Tour A and the Small Lagoon in Tour D, and you can rent kayaks at each lagoon, which is one of the best things to do in El Nido.
El Nido Tour B
The B tour also visits some beautiful places, although it is the least popular El Nido island hopping tour.
However, if you’re looking for a boat trip where you’ll have to overcome smaller crowds or like to get off the beaten track, then choose the B tour.
The group tour B prices start from 1365 PHP.
The best sights on Tour B are Snake Island, Pinagbuyutan Island, Entalula Beach, Snorkeling Site, Cudugnon, and Cathedral Cave.
Remember that tourists come to the Philippines from all parts of the world, so this tour is expected to become popular soon!
Read more → Coron Island Hopping Tours
El Nido Tour C
If you want to spend a relaxing tour in El Nido while visiting the beautiful white sandy beaches and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters, then this island hopping tour is perfect for you.
The group tour C prices start from 1470 PHP.
The best sights on Tour C are Helicopter Island, Tapiutan Island, Matinloc Shrine, Secret Beach, and Hidden Beach.
Good to know
Smoking on the El Nido island hopping tours is prohibited!
El Nido Tour D
In the past, Tour D was one of the least visited island hopping tours in El Nido, but since the added Small Lagoon to the route, it has become a popular tour.
The group tour D prices start from 1260 PHP.
The best sights on Tour D are Ipil Beach, Cadlao Lagoon, Paradise Beach, Pasandigan Beach, Natnat Beach, Bukal Beach, and Small Lagoon.
Rent a kayak, swim, snorkel, and enjoy the beautiful sights of El Nido, Palawan.
See also → Best beaches in El Nido
Best Island Hopping Tour in El Nido
Which is the best tour in El Nido? The best island hopping tour in El Nido depends on what you want to see and do or which places are on your bucket list.
The most popular El Nido tours are A, C, and D, and the least popular are B.
Because each El Nido tour is different and has fantastic places to visit, you will not be disappointed whichever you choose.
If your budget allows, do at least two island hopping tours in El Nido. If not, we recommend the A tour, which covers all the main attractions.
Private or Group Island Hopping Tour
If you’re traveling solo or have a low budget, it’s best to join a group tour to save money. For friends or larger groups, we recommend a private tour.
As you can’t combine tours, the only advantage of a private trip is that you don t have to share the boat with others.
Most group tours go to the same place at the same time, but with a private tour, you can do the route in the opposite direction and avoid the crowds.
Read our → Ultimate Palawan Itinerary
What to Pack for the El Nido Tours
These are the things we recommend you take with you on your El Nido island hopping tours.
- Quick dry towel
- Waterproof bag
- Medication (seasickness or headache tablets)
- Water shoes or flip-flops
- Refillable water bottle
- Extra snack
- Electronics equipment (camera, drone, GoPro)
- Light raincoat
- Own snorkeling gear
What Should I Wear for the El Nido Tour
On island hopping tours in El Nido, wear a swimsuit, light dress, and flip-flops. You can also wear sunglasses, a sun hat, and a water shoe.
Use plenty of sunscreen during the trip.
If you visit El Nido during the rainy season, bring a rain jacket or sarong if you get colder in the windy weather.
We hope you found our complete El Nido island hopping guide helpful. If you have any questions or thoughts, let us know in the comments below.